This posting will cost me my Liberal's status. The NRA is an evil arm of the Republican Party, but firearms themselves are place, user and time sensitive devices with no more inherent moral value than a piston engine or laptop computer. I will agree that firearms have proven the ultimate weapons of mass destruction, but have also been used to throw off the evils of oppression and colonialism. In the hands of an inner city thug we create terrorized neighborhoods. In rural areas, where police are an hour or more away, firearms are the great equalizer. Rural Americans can't figure out why urban politicos want to take their protection away, and urban pols can't see why rural officials protect these devices of death and terror.
Like it or not, the constitution does guarantee the right of citizens to possess firearms. Like it or not there is no constitutional guarantee for an individual to own weapons of war. Any fat arsed NRA member who entertains some sort of fantasy of protecting freedom with his Glock semi-automatic pistol had better get a grip. Freedom is guaranteed here by the structure of government, and periodic elections.
There is nothing in the Constitution that bars strict registration and licensing of deadly weapons. Every six shooter, shotgun and hunting rifle should be licensed and registered. Propellants must be doped with taggants, and ammunition must be tightly regulated. Gun owners must be vetted with thorough background checks and have at least as much required competence as the average driver's test. The founders wouldn't have manned the state militia with nut cases and half wits. Trading in illicit weapons must be dealt with as the social scourge it is.
Some folk have an unhealthy attachment for their firearms, and this personality trait gives a lot of folk the willies. If you've ever sat in a suburban cafe and listened to a character go on about the liberals and waking up America to the danger of the loss of our freedom to own guns which protect our freedom to own guns. Why don't as many folk get worked up so much about the first amendment? We do need the protections of the first amendment to protect our right to speech and assembly to protect all our other freedoms. There are plenty of disarmed societies with admirable records of civil liberty.
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